Pittsburgh’s philanthropic sector drives community change as nonprofits evolve

There’s an old saying that Pittsburgh business and government leaders have an ability to come together to transform the city. That may have been true in the 1940s and 1950s; today, the dynamic is more complex.

In the wake of the collapse of the steel industry, many rust belt cities rolled up their sidewalks for a long time, says Grant Oliphant, president of the Heinz Endowments.

Pittsburgh, however, had the foundation community that continued to invest. Even while the city was in decline, the Cultural District — and later the riverfront development — attracted a new generation of people.